Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4855

Sent by:
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent to:
H. N. Martin
4 March 1886

Sent by Thomas Henry Huxley, [none given] to H. N. Martin [none given] on 4 March 1886.

Record created:
14 November 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


Commenting on Wallace's lecture style.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4855.5254)

A typical letter handwritten  in English.

Held by:
Special Collections, The John Hopkins University
Finding number:
Daniel Coit Gilman Papers, Ms. 1, Box 1.50
Copyright owner:
ŠImperial College London

Physical description

Transcription information




Mar[ch]. 4/[18]86

Prof[essor]. T.H. Huxley2

To Prof[essor]. H. N. Martin3,

Re[?] A. R. Wallace

"I have never heard Wallace address a large audience, therefore you must take what I am about to say for just so much as it may be worth.

The substance of what he has to say is sure to be worth listening to, even if it should be about spirit rapping and writing -- (though I presume that he will keep clear of that topic) -- but I have grave doubts whether his style of speaking is such as to lay hold of a large general audience.

But I repeat my opinion is only speculation": is only speculation x x x x x x x [[2]] "I hate listening to lectures & have often said I would not hear my own if I could help it. Thus I have heard very few within the last ten or fifteen lectures years. As soon as a man begins to speak I have an irresistible temptation to think of something [1 word illeg.] to hi his study subject. -- and then lose the thread of his discourse." xxxx


1. At the top of page of the manuscript, the text reads "Copy".

2. Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895). English zoologist and comparative anatomist.

3. Martin, Henry Newell (1848-1896). British physiologist and Professor of Physiology at John Hopkins University from 1876 to 1893.

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